If Fast & Furious 9’s hyper-kinetic trailers have told us anything, it’s that the cars ‘n’ espionage franchise has no intention of slowing down or parking its bigger, better, barmier approach to the series’ signature set pieces.
And so, with Vin Diesel and the rest of the Fast Saga family flipping the switch on a NOS tank of blockbuster escapism on 24 June 2021, let’s get you up to speed with some fantastic fast knowledge.
Fast and Furious 9 release date: 24 June
Even if you’ve never actually seen a Fast & Furious movie, you’ve almost certainly glimpsed enough of the blockbuster franchise’s posters to know it’s got something to do with car culture.
You may even know its (fictional) roots are in LA’s modding and illegal street racing scene. But eight main movies in, to say that the Fast Saga’s all about excessively tuned cars is like saying The Lord of the Rings is all about a piece of jewellery – sort of true but massively missing the point once you get invested in the story.
The fact is, after the first three Fast & Furious films – The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) – stuck to the underground racing theme like freshly warmed Yokohamas on asphalt, 2009’s Fast & Furious effectively rebooted the Fast Saga. What emerged from the shop was a glossy, globe-trotting spy/heist movie centred around the first three films’ coalescing crew of petrolhead misfits, led by gravel-voiced Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto.
It was a genius move, and ever since the Fast Saga picked its lane as Bond-lite with heart, humour and fat exhausts; it’s been unstoppable.
Fast & Furious 8 (The Fate of the Furious – 2017) introduced Charlize Theron as Cipher, a particularly ruthless cyber hacker and criminal mastermind who wasn’t just scheming to hijack a Russian nuclear sub and hold the world’s leaders to ransom but had also been pulling the strings behind the Shaw brothers’ villainy in Fast & Furious 6 and 7.
Cipher was defeated at the end of the Fate of the Furious, but remained at large and was, according to Dom and the crew’s main government contact, Mr Nobody (Kurt Russell), chilling in Athens. But rather than assemble a collection of supercars and head to Greece, it seemed like the Toretto gang were content to see out the credits having another barbecue with their nearest and dearest.
At the start of F9, Cipher has eventually been arrested but is clearly not one to let bygones be bygones. Worse still, she’s only gone and recruited an assassin by the name of Jakob Toretto (John Cena) to help spring her from prison and get her revenge on Dom. And that would be ‘Toretto’ as in Dom’s hitherto never mentioned younger brother! Gasp!
With global events creating a sizable tailback for film releases, Fast & Furious 9 has seen its original release date pushed back a few times, but it’s finally got its SatNav working again, has picked an off-ramp and is due at ODEON on 24 June 2021.
Yes! And not just one – three! There’s the film's first trailer below (which was first released last year), an emotionally charged second official trailer (from earlier in this article), as well as a recently released special final trailer featuring a direct-to-camera welcome back to cinemas message from Vin Diesel.
All showcase the film’s cast of old, new and returning characters, some truly breathtaking set-piece stunts, beautiful international locations (including lush Ko Pha-ngan in Thailand and, um, Hatfield), and some truly what-the-fudge moments – Dom’s rope bridge swing in a car, gobsmacking vehicular mayhem caused by powerful car-mounted electromagnets, and Tej and Roman ‘piloting’ what looks like a space shuttle made out of a Pontiac Fiero.
There’s also the hilarious revelation that the car-obsessed Toretto crew’s resident hacker, Ramsey, can’t drive.
Fast and Furious 9 has two main villains in the mix: the first is Jakob Toretto (John Cena), Dom and Mia’s brother; and the second is Cipher (Charlize Theron) the cold-hearted cyberterrorist who almost succeeded in breaking Dom away from his loyal crew in the Fate of the Furious.
They’re working together and, while Cipher definitely wants revenge on the Toretto crew for thwarting her nuke-happy plans in the last film, we suspect she and Jakob have a bigger scheme than simply getting back at Dom.
When Han Lue’s gorgeous orange and black Mazda MX7 got T-boned at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) – ending in what looked like a terminal fireball – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Happily, for Han fans, the Fast Saga architects realised what they’d done and decided to shuffle Tokyo Drift’s position in the series chronology, setting its events sometime after the end of Fast & Furious 6.
This enabled them to bring Han back in 2009’s Fast & Furious, Fast 5 and Fast & Furious 6.
However, Fast & Furious 6’s mid-credits sequence seemingly settled Han’s account, showing that what had looked like an accident in Tokyo Drift was actually the handiwork of a vengeful Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), thereby setting up the events of Fast & Furious 7.
But there is Han in the Fast and Furious 9 trailer, very much alive and surprising the heck out of Dom and crew with a breezy, “Nice clubhouse’.
But how? Is he a cyborg (unlikely)? Is he Han’s twin (also called Han)? Did he pay Shaw to help him stage his death for some as yet unfathomable reason?
We’re going with that one.
Car spotting in the Fast Saga films is all part of the fun and the trailers for Fast and Furious 9 do not disappoint. Here are the cars, bikes and one tractor that we’ve glimpsed so far:
So, now you’re up to speed with Fast and Furious 9, what next? How about an ODEON-exclusive clip of Vin Diesel and John Cena previewing the big-screen sibling scrap of the decade?
What’s Jakob’s agenda? How could Dom ‘it’s-all-about-family’ Toretto have walked away from his own flesh and blood? How is the Toretto vs Toretto showdown going to shape the events of Fast and Furious 9?
There are some tantalising clues here. To quote Cena: “Get #$%¶§@∆ ready!”
But, we’re not content with ‘just’ giving you an exclusive insider glimpse of Fast 9. That’s why, to celebrate F9’s imminent release, we’ve partnered with Universal Pictures to give you the chance to win an exclusive framed artwork signed by the cast plus a beautifully detailed collectable Fast 9 model car from Jada Toys.
To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize all you need to do is book your Fast and Furious 9 tickets online with ODEON by June 30.
Seeing this summer’s biggest blockbuster and the chance to win big? That’s a win-win situation right there…
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